Business: REI Moving to Former Border’s Books Location

Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – REI, the outdoor clothing and adventure retailer, has announced that it’s moving from Crossroads to Devonshire Plaza, the old location of Border’s Books.

Bigger Store, More Visible Location

Opening in the Spring of 2012, the new store will expand REI from about 21,000 square feet to 27,000. REI first opened the store at Crossroads in Cary in 1992.

The new location is only about a quarter mile down the road from Crossroads, but REI will now front on Walnut Street.

Social Entrepreneurship

REI was born in the 1938 from a group of 22 mountain climbing buddies who wanted better gear. Outdoor stewardship has always been part of their DNA; it’s not just about the profits.

Economists and business thinkers call that “social entrepreneurship.”

REI spends millions every year and supports volunteer projects of outdoor-focused community organizations with money, gear and “sweat equity.” From REI:

As part of its commitment to increase access to the outdoors, REI partners with nonprofit organizations that work to restore and maintain local trails, parks and waterways through active volunteer programs across the country. Earlier this year, REI granted more than $4.2 million to nonprofits through its locally driven grants program. In addition, the new community room in REI Cary will allow the company and its local partners to host outdoor-related classes, presentations and events.

With miles of greenway and more than a dozen parks, Cary is a good fit for REI.

REI construction in Devonshire Plaza.

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